To someone unfamiliar with Audi’s overarching model positioning strategy but familiar with the Q3, it might seem odd that the company isn’t choosing to launch a new small crossover that’s, well, a bit smaller than this.
At 4191mm in overall length, the Q2 is almost 200mm shorter than the Q3 and shorter even than the three-door A3 hatchback, slotting in between the Mini Countryman and Skoda Yeti in terms of overall size.
It could have been shorter still; plenty of jacked-up superminis are. But this is Audi, remember, and these days it rarely settles for one new model where there’s room for a couple. So don’t be surprised if another odd-numbered Q-car pops in at the very foot of the firm’s SUV range in a few years’ time, carrying the sub-£20,000 entry point that the Q2 narrowly misses.
The car’s distinguishing styling features are many and pleasing to see from a firm so used to playing it safe with evolutionary updates.
The Q2’s ‘single-frame’ radiator grille looks even more dominant here than on other small Audis, switching from hexagonal to octagonal form.
The car’s flanks are slightly concave, decorated by an innovative chamfered shoulderline and a C-pillar ‘blade’ in a contrasting colour on most trim levels.
At the rear, a plunging coupé roofline is complemented by a raked rear screen, oversized tail-lights and plenty of surface interplay on the tailgate. You can decide for yourself if what results is a good-looking car – but it’s clearly trying to be one.
Underneath, the Q2 has a predictable but promising make-up. Engines range from a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit with 113bhp, through four-cylinder turbo petrols of 1.4 litres (with 148bhp) and 2.0 litres (with 187bhp) to four-cylinder turbodiesels of 1.6 litres (114bhp) and 2.0 litres (148bhp and 187bhp).
Those engines mount transversely and drive the front wheels as standard, with clutch-based four-wheel drive, capable of sending up to 50 percent of the torque rearwards, standard on the range-topping petrol and diesel engines and optional with the mid-range oil-burner.
Gearboxes are either six-speed manuals or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatics.
Opt for quattro and you’ll get a car with independent multi-link rear suspension; stick with front-wheel drive and your rear axle is suspended via a torsion beam.
But all Q2s benefit from a progressive-rate electromechanical power steering system whose directness increases with steering angle, while adaptive dampers are available as an £875 option and allow the driver to soften or firm up the ride as desired.